SA Trots - Sunday Gawler wrap up

Back mark handicaps of 20 metres, proved no issue as star pacers Artillery and Lord Zarias continued to build their rivalry with an exciting finish in the 2024 D F & E Kemp & Son Gawler Gold Pacing Cup (2250m) on Sunday.

It was the Paul Cavallaro-trained-and-driven Artillery ($11) which finished best to claim the Cup by two metres from Lord Zarias ($3.60) with the sensationally backed Sir Lucas ($8 into $3.30 fav), seven metres away third.

Artillery now has won the Italian and Gawler Cups, with Lord Zarias second, while the latter won the Ladbrokes Cup relegating his rival to second.

The Gawler Cup proved to be a tactical clash between the pair which began safely from their handicaps and were able to settle in the running line with Lord Zarias in front of Artillery.

In the back straight on the final lap Cavallaro came out to try and force Ryan Hryhorec on Lord Zarias to come out and give him a trail into the race.

Hryhorec waited forcing Cavallaro to commit to a forward move, but then came out pushing his rival four wide but the latter eased to drop in again behind Lord Zarias ensuring a trail into the race.

In easing, Cavallaro tightened Wayne Hill on Honeybun which resulted later in a seven-day driving suspension, but the tactic worked.

Hryhorec allowed Lord Zarias to work up outside the lead, then dashed for home.

No sooner was he being declared the likely winner, Artillery started to lengthen and grabbed his rival to win well.

Cavallaro said the race had gone as he had hoped but admitted to being concerned on the home turn.

“When Ryan asked Lord Zarias to sprint he quickly put a few metres on my horse and I wondered whether we would be able catch him,” Cavallaro said.

“But with the long straight he was able to wind up and win.”

It was Cavallaro’s third driving win in the Gawler Cup scoring on Adams Rocket off 20 metres in 2005 and then Conte De Cristo in 2009, both horses trained by his father-in-law Peter Sergi in partnership with the late Joe Carbone.

“It could have been four as I ran second on Bonamax for my Dad (Neil) in 1993, also off 20 metres just going under to Kawartha Hanover which pushed me off the track and should have lost on protest.

Those races were all on the previous Gawler track on Weaver Road which was compulsorily acquired to make way for the Northern Expressway.

The Artillery – Lord Zarias battle could continue again on Sunday in the Victor Harbor Cup.

The 2024 Podiatry Care Gawler Hambletonian Trotters Cup (2550m) went to My Used To Be which came off a 20-metre handicap to give a second feature win for the training partnership of Jill Neilson and Katie Wilson.

The pair, who took out their dual licence late last year won the 2023 Veterinary Surgeons Cup with Honeybun, but the Hambletonian win was very special for the pair, especially Neilson.

“I have had many runners in the race over the years but could get a win,” Neilson said.

“My son Chris has been reminding me he won the race with Skyflyer in 2019, but now we are equal.

“It was also special as I am now on the Gawler Harness Racing Club committee.

“For Katie, it was the perfect way to go on holiday as she has this week off.”

My Used To Be ($6.50) was perfectly driven by Wayne Hill who came with a well-timed run to score by 8-1/2 metres from Millys Magic ($101) with Skybreeze ($4.80) a nose away third.

The winner is owned and was bred by Geoff Easom from Wyndown Stud.

Lovem And Leavem, the winner’s dam, had a short career because of injury, but interestingly, her mother Whirlwind Romance won 13 races as a pacer and her mother, Laura Low was also a pacer winning at the old Gawler track.

The Hambletonian brought to an end the winning run of the Ryan Hryhorec-trained Regal Attire which had been a super impressive winner of his past four starts.

The 40-metre handicap and 11 rivals proved too much for Regal Attire ($2.10 fav) which could only finish seventh.

Tony Piccolo, the member for Light, reacquainted himself with Wasleys trainer Claire Goble after the race named in his honour.

Clarenden Envoy ($8), bred, owned and trained by Goble, finished strongly to score a one metre win in the Tony Piccolo MP Member For Light Pace (2070m) from Captain Braveheart ($2.20 into $1.65 fav) with Treacherous Rock ($23), 1-1/2 metres away third.

Prior to his successful political career, Mr Piccolo had worked for Trinity College, where Goble also worked, and still does.